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The Magistrates' Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981

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Revocation, variation, etc., of orders for periodical paymentN.I.

86.—(1) Without prejudice to the provisions of any enactment specified in Article 98(11) and subject to Article 25(2) of the Domestic Proceedings (Northern Ireland) Order 1980[F1 and paragraph 42 of Schedule 16 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004], where a court of summary jurisdiction has made an order for money to be paid periodically by one person to another, the court may, by order on complaint, revoke, revive, discharge or vary the order.

[F2(1A) The power under paragraph (1) is not exercisable in relation to a maintenance order which falls to be enforced by a court of summary jurisdiction by virtue of—

F3(a). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(b)Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22nd December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.]

[F4(c)the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and other forms of Family Maintenance done at The Hague on 23rd November 2007;

(d)Part 1 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982.]

(2) The power under paragraph (1) to vary an order shall include power to suspend the operation of any provision of the order temporarily and to revive the operation of any provision so suspended.

(3) Where the order mentioned in paragraph (1) is a maintenance order, the power under that paragraph to vary the order shall include power, if the court is satisfied that payment has not been made in accordance with the order, to exercise one of its powers under sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) of Article 85(3).

(4) In any case where—

(a)a court of summary jurisdiction has made a maintenance order, and

(b)payments under the order are required to be made by any method of payment falling within Article 85(7),

an interested party may apply in writing to the clerk of petty sessions for the order to be varied as mentioned in paragraph (5).

(5) Subject to paragraph (8), where an application has been made under paragraph (4), the clerk, after serving written notice of the application on any other interested party and allowing that party, within the period of 14 days from the date of the serving of that notice, an opportunity to make written representations, may vary the order to provide that payments under the order shall be made to the collecting officer.

(6) The clerk may proceed with an application under paragraph (4) notwithstanding that any such interested party as is referred to in paragraph (5) has not received written notice of the application.

(7) In paragraphs (4) to (6) “interested party”, in relation to a maintenance order, means—

(a)the debtor;

(b)the creditor; and

(c)if the person who applied for the maintenance order is a person other than the creditor, that other person.

(8) Where an application has been made under paragraph (4), the clerk may, if he considers it inappropriate to exercise his power under paragraph (5), refer the matter to the court which may vary the order by exercising one of its powers under sub-paragraphs (a) to (d) of Article 85(3).

(9) Paragraphs (5), (6) and (8) of Article 85 shall apply for the purposes of paragraphs (3) and (8) as they apply for the purposes of that Article.

(10) None of the powers of the court, or of the clerk of petty sessions, conferred by paragraphs (3) to (9) shall be exercisable in relation to a maintenance order which is not a qualifying maintenance order (within the meaning of Article 85).

(11) For the purposes of this Article—

  • “creditor” and “debtor” have the same meaning as they have in Article 85;

  • “maintenance order” has the same meaning as it has in Article 85; and

  • the reference in paragraph (1) to money paid periodically by one person to another includes, in the case of a maintenance order, a reference to a lump sum paid by instalments by one person to another.

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